A Special Bulletin
By Bernard M. Cassidy
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (October 12, 2011) The State of Florida and DEA, after spending the last two years dedicating substantial resources to eliminating so called “pill mills” have now turned considerable attention to pharmacies, particularly pharmacies associated with pain management clinics, and targeting pharmacies dispensing of what is perceived as large quantities of opioids such as oxycodone.
This latest law enforcement initiative aimed at pharmacies is in part the result of the shift of distribution of opioids from physician dispensers to pharmacies and from the fact that the DEA and State have been pretty successful shutting down some of what were perceived as the worst pill mills. As with other enforcement actions, criminal prosecutions as well as regulatory actions are sure to follow.
DOH inspections of pharmacies in the State of Florida are going to be increasingly difficult and exacting; and violations previously glossed over and cited on an inspection report for correction are now forming the basis of licensing complaints. This expected uptick in pharmacy scrutiny is another piece of the law enforcement effort to curtail Florida’s prescription pain medication diversion epidemic. New statutes have made disciplinary sanctions for failure to properly review and validate prescriptions much more pronounced and has made due diligence by all drug suppliers mandatory.
Florida is also going to focus more heavily on the backgrounds of applicants for pharmacy licenses and subject them to much greater scrutiny. Under new laws, pharmacies and pharmacists are now responsible for reporting of doctor shopping within 24 hours. With the mandatory reporting of controlled substance prescribing and dispensing now in effect, regulators will have a whole new well of information to analyze pharmacy practices.
A Special Bulletin